Tidbit #5

After a brief lunch, Roch went to see Instructor Mithse.  He wasn’t looking forward to another variation of the talk the Dean had given him.  He had heard the same speech repeatedly all year.

Mithse was cleaning up the classroom when he came in.  The classroom seemed strange to him so late in the evening. The slotted blinds had been lowered and remained open, letting the orange glow of the setting sun spill out onto the desks.

“Have a seat,” she said.  She had a singular chair set in front of her desk for him to sit in.  Not a good sign.

“I spoke to the Dean earlier today and he told me that he might be sending you to the reserves,” she said once she had taken her seat.

“Yeah,” Roch said.  Mithse pulled out a puffer and took a huff from it before she continued.

“You’re on Tide?” he said, unable to hide his surprise.  “I didn’t know you had been approved.”

“Why would you?” she said and laughed.  “Students don’t generally get involved in the personal affairs of teachers.”

“You consider that personal?” he asked.  He was digressing, but he didn’t much want to discuss what she had pulled him into discuss.

“Perhaps not personal, but certainly outside what a student would be expected to know about a teacher.  My exposure to Tide is part of the reason I was picked as an instructor.”

He looked at her intently for a moment.  “You’re new to it though, right?” he asked.  “Your eyes haven’t even changed yet.”

“They may not.  Not everyone’s do.  In any case, this is not why I wanted to speak to you, though it is related,” she paused to give him a chance to respond, then continued.  “I think that, given your circumstances, you should take the aptitude test for Tide.”

Roch let a short, dismissive laugh out.  “‘Aptitude test’?  Nice name for something that can kill you.”

“Deaths from the exposure to Tide have been extremely rare, and haven’t occurred in the last twenty years,” Mithse said.  “With the advances we’ve made in modern medicine, I would be surprised if we’ll ever see another fatality.”

“It’s not worth the risk,” he said.  “And I’m not interested.”

“It is a risk, which is why it’s your choice to get tested.  And had you not been given an ultimatum this afternoon I might not be sitting here suggesting it to you, because I believe that it’s a personal choice, but–”

There was a knock at the door of the classroom that cut her short.  Roch’s classmate, Rene was at the door clutching a binder.

“Hi Rene,” Mithse said.  “You can just wait outside, I won’t be too long.”  When Rene had left the threshold Mithse continued.

“I think that with the options you’ve had presented to you, that getting tested would be your best course of action.  I’m pretty sure from what I’ve seen of you that you’re not planning on a major attitude adjustment, right?”

“Right,” Roch hesitantly agreed.

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